Volume VII, Number 17
In this issue:
The Bible teaches we are appointed to die once followed by judgment (Heb. 9:27). We will continue to exist beyond the grave (Eccl. 12:7; Lk. 16:22-23). The record of events following the death of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31 perplexes some people as they consider the finality of death and with it, the sealing of one’s eternal future (Lk. 16:23-28). Questions that arise include, “why will there be a Judgment Day if one’s eternal destiny is already sealed and assured when we die?”; “Given the fact that at death one is either in comfort or torment, doesn’t death constitute their day of judgment?”; and “Don’t the events described in Luke 16:19-31 turn the Judgment Day into an empty exercise devoid of real substance?” Let us allow the Bible to briefly answer these concerns (1 Pet. 3:15; 4:11).
First, there will be a resurrection of all the dead followed by judgment at the end of time because God says there will be (Jno. 5:28-29; see the good article on the resurrection in this bulletin by Donnie Rader). God has assured us of the Judgment Day by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (Acts 17:31). Even though there will be comfort or torment following death (see Lk. 16:25), there will be no formal declaration of judgment until that last great day (Matt. 25:31-46).
Human accountability also affirms the truth of a future judgment of all people (2 Cor. 5:10). The day of judgment will afford the occasion for each to “give account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:12; 2 Cor. 5:10). This accounting will be in relation to divine truth. Those who have obeyed God will then receive eternal life, and those who have not conformed to divine truth will have the judgment of eternal punishment announced and applied (Rev. 20:11-15; 2 Ths. 1:7-10; Rom. 2:5-11).
Death is not the final judgment day because it is on the appointed Day of Judgment that God’s righteousness will be fully vindicated and His glory universally acknowledged. The record of divine truth will be opened and each one being judged “according to their works, by the things which (are) written in the books” (Rev. 20:12). On that day there will be no doubt that God’s judgment of every person is true, just and impartial (Rom. 2:2, 5, 11). Every knee shall bow and honor the Almighty God in that day (Rom. 14:10-11).
Until the Day of Judgment, those who lived in sin while on earth are now kept “under punishment for the day of judgment” and the righteous are comforted (2 Pet. 2:9; Lk. 16:2-23; 23:43; Rev. 14:13). Does your future hold peaceful comfort or agonizing torment? That depends on your faith in Christ (Matt. 7:21-23). Obey God now!
One of the basic Bible doctrines is that there shall be a resurrection in the end of time. Some have taught that there is no resurrection (1 Cor. 15:12). Others have taught that the resurrection is already past (2 Tim. 2:18). I believe there shall be a resurrection in the end of time because:
1) God Said There Would Be A Resurrection. Jesus said, “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth-those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (Jn. 5:28-29).
At the raising of Lazarus, Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (Jn. 11:25). Paul affirmed that there would be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust (Acts 24:15). Later, the same apostle taught the Thessalonians saying, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus…And the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Th. 4: 14-16).
Numerous passages that do not even mention the word “resurrection” or rising from the dead imply there will be a resurrection. For example, Hebrews 9:27 says that after death there will be a judgment. Also, 2 Corinthians 5:10 affirms that all will appear before the judgment seat of Christ. There must be a resurrection for there to be a judgment of those who have already died.
Other passages that teach there will be a resurrection (1 Cor. 6:14; 2 Cor. 4:14; Mark 12:25; Phil. 3:21).
2) Christ Was Raised From The Dead, Thus Giving Us Hope For Ourselves. Paul writes a whole chapter on the resurrection from the dead (1 Cor. 15) and argues from the resurrection of Christ. He begins by showing that the resurrection of Christ is part of the basic principles of the gospel (vv. 1-4). He then proceeds to give evidences of his resurrection by citing witnesses (vv. 5-1 1).
Any evidence that can be cited for the resurrection of Jesus Christ serves to confirm that we will be raised from the dead. The empty tomb, the witnesses, the change in the Jews, the transformation of the disciples, and the conversion of Saul all assure us that Jesus was raised from the dead. Being assured of that, we can have confidence that we too will raise. Several passages connect Christ’s resurrection to the resurrection at the end of time (1 Th. 4:13; 1 Cor. 6:14; Phil. 3:11).
3) Without A Resurrection, There Would Be No Heaven Or Hell. Jesus connected the resurrection with receiving eternal life or eternal damnation (Jn. 5:28-29). Paul argued that if there is no resurrection, then Christ was not raised (1 Cor. 15:13). If Christ was not raised, then our faith is useless. Sin would still be in our lives. The only hope we would have would be in this life (1 Cor. 15:14-19). That would make our lives something to be pitied (v. 19).
Paul closed his great chapter on the resurrection by urging all to live in view of the resurrection (1 Cor. 15:58).
-Back to Basics, October 2003, page 7
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
"Works" in the NT (#1)
Scripture Reading: James 2:14-26
We must be able to distinguish what “works” being discussed in NT – cf. Rom. 4:4-5; 11:6; Jas. 2:24.
I. DIFFERENT “WORKS” ARE DISCUSSED IN THE NT.
A. Other Works in NT…
II. WORKS THAT CANNOT JUSTIFY.
A. Works of Law – Acts 13:38-39.
III. WORKS THAT DO JUSTIFY.
A. Works (actions) of Faith – Jas. 2:14-26 (Heb. 10:39).
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Works and Salvation (#2)
Scripture Reading: Romans 3:21-26
Some have tried to construct the horns a dilemma re. salvation, grace and works. But, by Scripturally defining grace, faith & works we find no such dilemma exists.
I. GRACE, FAITH, WORKS & LAW
A. The Relationship Between Grace, Faith, Works & Law – Eph. 2:8-10.
II. THERE ARE NO CONFLICTS BETWEEN THE GRACE OF GOD & THE WORKING FAITH OF MAN – Gal. 5:4-8.
A. There is a Conflict Between Grace & Works of Law – Rom. 11:6;
4:2-4; Eph. 2:8-9; Tit. 3:5.
Churches of Christ and Instrumental Music
Last month The Christian Chronicle reported that since the spring of 2001 “five urban churches affiliated with churches of Christ have added instrumental worship” (Instrumental worship: isolated or key trend?, Lindy Adams, The Christian Chronicle, September 19, 2003). One such church is the Northwest Church of Christ in Shoreline, WA (the most recognizable being Oak Hills in San Antonio, TX where Max Lucado is a minister and where “Church of Christ” will soon be removed entirely from their description).
Please give careful consideration to the following explanation and description of their use of instrumental music from the web site of the Northwest Church of Christ. Please notice the basis for their decision to use instrumental music in worship and the clear implication that such usage is not the outgrowth of “strong biblical preaching” but that of “current cultural” shifts.
“…Our first and second services continue the legacies of Churches of Christ with strong biblical preaching and a cappella music. However, there is a very relevant feel in first and second service because the preaching is life oriented and the music led by the Northwest Worship Team is full of newer praise music.
“In 2000 Northwest began Third Service on Sunday evenings. This service was started because of the sensed need for a different style of service to reach out to a new group of people in the current cultural postmodern shift that is happening around us. It was also believed that a unique service was needed that would reflect the needs and beliefs of many to worship God in a different style. The third service has a different form from morning services and most churches of Christ since it is not a capella. The approach in communication (videos and preaching style) and atmosphere (candles, art, lights) reflect the attempt to connect to a postmodern people. Probably nothing reflects the change more than the music. It is highly experiential, distinctively praise oriented, and pretty loud. Although the appeal of Third Service may attract a younger crowd, it is the intention of the service to be inter-generational. Everyone is welcome. But don’t dress up too much.” ( http://www.nwchurch.net/renw.htm )
“Sensed need,” “current cultural postmodern shift,” the “needs and beliefs of many to worship God in a different style” and an “attempt to connect to a postmodern people” are not acceptable reasons to change NT teaching before the eyes of Him with whom we have to do! The gospel is God’s power to save regardless of the times in which we live (Rom. 1:16). We dare not alter it (1 Cor. 4:6; 2 Jno. 9-11). (There are a number of Scriptural problems in the previous statement, but space prevents a complete analysis here. Suffice it to say the Northwest Church of Christ is certainly acting without divine authority and approval in such matters, Col. 3:16-17; Gal. 1:6-9; Rev. 2:4-5).
Created by Chuck Sibbing. 10/06/2003
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